Chris Gill’s analysis of complaints handling in the public and private sector (Perspective, 14 October) was very illuminating, very interesting and occasionally naïve.
He opined: “Good complaint handling provides better public services and fair consumer markets; it is a crucial activity, which affects the everyday lives of consumers and citizens.
“It is in everyone’s interest to ensure that – in years to come – a consumer can expect the same level of publicly assured professionalism when dealing with a complaint handler as they can when dealing with a lawyer, a doctor or accountant. It is time to make this aspiration a reality.”
Many clients who have dealt with lawyers experience alarming levels of mediocrity laced with professional misconduct and when they seek solace in the “good complaint handling” provided by the Law Society and the Faculty of Advocates, they soon discover that the society and the faculty share a panoramic approach when they “investigate” complaints: every aspect of each complaint is exposed to an in-house process of dissection, purified by the application of bias. This ensures that most of the lawyers are totally exonerated.
Mr Gill is programme leader of the world’s first MSc in Dispute Resolution (Queen Margaret University). If that course in any way involves a perusal of the “good complaint handling” as operated by the Law Society and the Faculty of Advocates, the brightest students will endure cerebral pulverisation and deeply chewed knuckles as they struggle to comprehend how the society and the faculty managed to create, without fuss, a complaints system that is a byword for pristine bias – masquerading as the “objective investigation” of complaints.
The laity’s “aspiration” is to hold lawyers to account for their misconduct but to make that a “reality” a “good complaints handling” mechanism is required – with no input from lawyers, the Law Society or the Faculty of Advocates.